HMP Chooses Lilly As Development/Commercialisation Partner For Fruquintinib In China
Hutchison MediPharma (HMP [a Chi-Med company]) has entered into a licensing, co-development and commercialisation agreement in China with Eli Lilly for fruquintinib (HMPL-013), a targeted oncology therapy for the potential treatment of various types of solid tumours. Fruquintinib was discovered by HMP and is currently in Phase II testing in China.
Under the terms of the agreement, the costs of future development of fruquintinib in China, to be carried out by HMP, will be shared between HMP and Lilly. HMP will potentially receive a series of payments of up to US$86.5mn, including up-front payments, and development and regulatory approval milestones. Should fruquintinib be successfully commercialised in China, HMP would receive tiered royalties starting in the mid-teens percentage of net sales. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Christian Hogg, CEO of Chi-Med, stated that the collaboration with Lilly will allow for fruquintinib to be developed across various tumour types in China and at a far greater speed than if the company went alone. Fruquintinib is a novel and potent small-molecule selective inhibitor of VEGFr-1, -2 and -3. In preclinical studies, it has shown potent inhibitory effects on multiple human tumour xenografts. In an initial single-arm Phase I study in advanced refractory solid tumours, fruquintinib demonstrated excellent pharmacokinetic properties and was well tolerated. In addition, it demonstrated clinical activity in patients with various heavily pretreated advanced cancers. Currently, a single-arm Phase II study for fruquintinib is ongoing in China, with results expected to be released in early 2014. In July, HMP received Phase II/II trial application approval from the Chinese FDA, which granted the further development of fruquintinib. In the planned Phase II/III trials, the drug will be studied in patients with a variety of solid tumours.